Pulse Polio: Over 64 lakh children to be covered

The State is all set to administer polio vaccine to a targeted 64,07,930 children below the age of five starting January 31, following all COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.

COVID-19 vaccination will not be taken up on this day and on mop-up round days in government hospitals, said Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar.

Pulse Polio immunisation campaign that was supposed to be held on January 17 had been postponed in view of COVID-19 vaccination roll out on January 16. Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa will launch the drive at his home office on Sunday.

Addressing presspersons, the Minister said this year, there would be only one round of the Pulse Polio immunisation campaign. Till now, the immunisation campaign was held in two phases every year. The decision on a single round was taken by the national technical advisory group on immunisation.

While 32,908 booths have been set up across the State where parents take their children for polio vaccination, as many as 49,338 teams have been formed comprising 1,10,179 vaccinators.

The vaccination drive between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. includes door-to-door outreach programmes. To help tourists, commuters and those in transit, the Health Department has also set up vaccination booths with 1,934 transit teams at railway stations, bus stops, metro stations, and airports. For those who miss out on January 3 1, there will be a mop-up round from February 1 to 3.

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“Under routine immunisation programme, every child is given five doses of oral polio vaccine (OPV) and two doses of inactivated injectable polio vaccine (IPV) and the State is committed that no child should miss these doses,” the Minister said.

Although India’s last case of polio was in January 2011 in West Bengal’s Howrah district and no polio cases have been reported here for the last 10 years, India is at risk as neighbouring countries Pakistan and Afghanistan still have the virus.

“We should not be complacent and continue routine immunisation and Pulse Polio campaign. There is a need for vaccination till the global eradication of the virus,” the Minister added.

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Sagar Biswas

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